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to not invite MIL to Christmas because of her dog?

(73 Posts)
Theicingontop Thu 29-Nov-12 09:29:31

She has nobody to look after her as she's moved to a new area in London, all her friends (possible dogsitters) live too far away for it to be convenient, apparently. I feel I'm being unreasonable but I don't really know what else to do.

When we lived at our old house she'd come to stay for a few months because she was homeless, and brought her dog with her. We didn't think it would be a problem, even though we had a tiny house and no garden confused, regardless we had no choice because, well, she was homeless. Anyway the whole time she was with us the dog peed all over our house, on our son's baby toys, on all of our rugs... And our cat ran away, and never returned (I think he found a new family, because I saw him a few months later looking rather fat and happy sad). Pretty disastrous.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 12:08:58

You could offer to pay for kennels but it doesn't sound like she would be willing to leave the dog in kennels.

How was the dog with the cat? I know the cat ran away but did the dog do anything to cause this?

I don't let my cat out after any changes for around a fortnight depending on how well he takes to the change (change being a new foster dog, a house guest, lots of workmen in and out, Christmas etc.) and you can get Feliway collars that would help your cat accept change more. Not all cats are bothered by dogs or a change in their home environment.

How did the dog wee? Was he making big puddles every now and again or was he frequently making small puddles on things?

Is the dog crate trained? Would MIL crate train? How is MIL generally at training/controlling the dog?

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 29-Nov-12 12:22:46

Are you able to pay for kennels?

There is no way I would have that dog in my house.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 29-Nov-12 12:33:37

Pay for the kennelling. Call it her Christmas present! grin

But if she's an unpleasant house guest, you would not be "the reason she has a shit Christmas."

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 29-Nov-12 12:35:19

Oh, and no matter how pushy you is DO NOT allow her to bring the dog with her! Your home, your carpets, your cat, your rules!

(And did she clean up after her dog before, OP?)

helenlynn Thu 29-Nov-12 12:39:17

There is absolutely no way I would allow this dog in my house. Apart from the weeing-everywhere problem, which is more than enough reason on its own not to have the dog to stay, if you suspect that having it would mean losing your own cat I think it's really not on to risk that upset for your son (not to mention the poor cat!).

In the circumstances I'd fork out for kennels or a petsitter if I could afford it. When we last paid for a petsitter, a few months ago, she cost £8 per day for one visit a day (outside London though); an extra daily visit would have been cheaper than the first visit. Offering to do this would be more than accommodating enough of your MiL.

5madthings Thu 29-Nov-12 12:46:36

No way would the dog be welcome in my house!

I had this issue with relatives who kept bringing their dog despite the fact that i am allergic to dogs!!

They now put it in kennels but it was a long battle that i still have to enforce.

Tbh even if i wasnt allergic i wouldnt have a dog that pissed everywhere in my house! A well trained dog that didnt jump onto furniture, beds etc fine and it could come in but stay downstairs in dini.g rm, conservatory and garden.but not upstairs or on sofa.

Oh and i wouldnt have it sat under the table begging for food when we were eating either.

If yout mil cant afford to pay for kemnwls then maybe offer to help with that cost, tho it is not your responsibility imo.

Ormiriathomimus Thu 29-Nov-12 12:49:45

Offer to go halfs on kennelling fees. It could be a kennel near your house so she could walk the dog if she chose to.

We have a dog and cat-ridden home. But I find other people's dogs hard work especially if they pee inside!

Theicingontop Thu 29-Nov-12 12:52:30

The dog's a bitch so I don't think it was a marking issue, more that MIL didn't take her for enough walks/she was nervous to be in an unfamiliar setting. There were always big puddles sad

OH doesn't like the dog, mainly because she's overweight and sweats, so pongs a bit, so he wouldn't allow her on the sofa or the guest bed MIL and his little sister were using, so that may also have added stress to the dog.

She did clean up when the dog was really obvious about it WhereYouLeftIt, but I was the one who usually found the mess and dealt with it. I caught her cleaning up a runny poo off my stairs at 6 in the morning once... Ugh.

I don't think she's crate trained, she barely enjoys being put on a lead. I really don't think she'll agree to me paying for kennels either. She's the type of person to turn up with the dog no matter what we say anyway... Maybe she'll have to live in the shed for three days.

girlywhirly Thu 29-Nov-12 12:53:21

Is MIL within a short driving distance, because in your position I would insist the dog stayed at home, drive to fetch her on Christmas day, and forgo any alcohol until I'd driven her home. You'd have a reason for her only staying for part of Christmas day because of the dog, she wouldn't get too drunk and obnoxious in the time she was with you, and she would not have to spend Christmas day on her own. Or pay for taxi's for her.

If she does want to use a kennels, she needs to get her finger out and book one as soon as poss, Christmas is a busy time and they get full very quickly.

Ephiny Thu 29-Nov-12 13:02:39

Just say the dog is not invited, and leave it up to her. But be prepared for her not to come.

My elderly dog had issues with continence and there's no way I would have expected anyone to accommodate him in their house. Sadly we lost him earlier this month, however if he'd made it to Christmas I would have stayed at home with him sooner than leave him behind to visit relatives. There is no way I would have considered kennels for him.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Nov-12 13:10:56

Well if she turns up anyway you can either kick her out or deal with the dog more effectively.

DAP would help ease the nerves. A collar would probably work best in this instance, they can be pricey so shop around. Petmeds is my go to website for most things, followed by Amazon.

For toileting treat the dog like you would a puppy. Take it into the garden the second it wakes from a nap, praise like mad and give a treat when it performs - MIL can start this now at home - use low fat treats (diced chicken or turkey maybe), also take it out half an hour after eating and straight after her 'mad half hour' if she still has one and routinely throughout the day - when I was retraining my older puppy I went out every 90 minutes to two hours depending on how much he had been eating/drinking. Take her out if you catch her circling or sniffing a lot.

A routine would also help - get MIL to start feeding and walking at the same time of day every day (twice a day would be best). That way the dog will know when a toilet break is due and MIL should be able to figure out the dogs toileting habits.

A high quality food will help with the amount of mess (and the runny poo) and also the weight issue. If MIL can afford it Nature Diet trays are good, if not Skinners Field and Trial is cheap enough or Wainwrights from Pets at Home - ask MIL to put the dog on this food now.

You can buy pet wipes that might help with the smell and a bath before the dog arrives.

The weight should be dealt with, it can cause no end of problems for the dog in later life and will result in an early death. MIL really should see a vet for advise on this.

If she is kind of person I am thinking she is she will not be happy about your suggestions so dress it up as concern i.e "I've been speaking to some doggy people I know about your dog coming to stay and they were really worried about her. They think she might have been stressed and upset last time she came. I'd feel really bad if I thought she was upset at being in our house, so this is what they suggested would help <insert tips> also they're worried about you loosing her earlier because she is a bit larger, someone I know lost a dog through it being slightly overweight and they said it was awful and the dog suffered horribly etc etc"

That's what I would do, but ultimately it is your house and if you don't want the dog there you have every right to tell her that under no circumstances is the dog allowed to stay.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 29-Nov-12 13:27:42

If she turns up with it anyway then your DH can drive them home. How rude can some people possibly be?!

I was utterly heartbroken when we lost our childhood cat. There is no way in the world I would risk inflicting that kind of pain on my child, let alone all the other issues.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 29-Nov-12 17:29:37

I have said no to MIls very elderly and incontinent dog at Christmas this year, last year she came, pissed and shat all over the house, my own dog pissd and shat all over in response. Old dog was very intolerant of our dog anywhere near her and spent the whole time snapping and snarling at our dog, and to top it off, old dog is almost blind and kept walking into things. I thought it was bloody cruel if I'm honest, she should have been at home where she felt safe and not stressed in a different house with a lunatic puppy!
Anyhow, nuff said, she isn't coming again!

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 29-Nov-12 18:28:52

" She's the type of person to turn up with the dog no matter what we say anyway..."
Why am I not surprised? smile

I'm with SlightlySuperiorPeasant on that one - if she turns up with it, drive them both home immediately. You WILL have made it absolutely clear to her in advance that the dog is not to come <peers meaningfully over glasses at OP> so if she does turn up with it being refused entry should not surprise her except it always does seem to surprise pushy types when someone refuses to be pushed. And above all - DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. I know you said ^"I don't want to be the reason she has a shit Christmas"^; but honestly, you won't be the reason, she will.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 29-Nov-12 18:38:31

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think I'd just not invite her.

Maybe a breezy conversation along the lines of "What are you doing for Christmas, MIL? I know you won't want to be apart from <dog's name>; are you planning to invite any friends over?" That give you the chance, if she suggests coming to you, to be firm about the dog not being welcome. "Oh no, she'll pee all over the house AGAIN I just can't face all that, not again! And she ran our last cat off, I'm not taking the chance of that happening again, DS was devastated, I'm not putting him through all that again!" (Yes, lots of repetition of the word 'again', just to hammer it home that it really really didn't go well last time grin!)

ImperialStateKnickers Thu 29-Nov-12 18:40:47

As a petsitter I wouldn't want to take on a not-properly-housetrained adult dog. I've agreed to have a puppy for two days between Christmas and New Year so the owners can visit family hundreds of miles away, I've taken on board that this is a puppy and there may be accidents. An overweight, barely trained, dirty adult dog is a different kettle of fish.

Incidentally, I'm already fully booked for Christmas/New Year, so are all my dogwalkers who take petsitting jobs as well, and I know all three local kennels are also full... even the rubbish one that everyone avoids like the plague.

NARPS (The National Association of Registered Petsitters) does not permit members to accept work where a dog is left unattended overnight.

Theicingontop Thu 29-Nov-12 19:06:26

Ahh well my OH had a rather awkward conversation with her not half an hour ago (she'd originally called to ask him to google something for her hmm). Their relationship is very strained because he was raised by his grandmother, doesn't call her mum or anything, so he finds it quite easy to shut her down which results in me, most of the time, feeling sorry for her. Not this time angry

"Since the cat's not there anymore, what's the problem? You have a garden now so everything will be fine. I don't see why you're being so stubborn about it."


'Since the cat's not there anymore...' Yeah, because of her dog!

I'm afraid I'll turn this into a MIL rant...

fuzzpig Thu 29-Nov-12 19:10:36

No way would I allow it.

How much do kennels cost, could you afford to pay?

Inertia Thu 29-Nov-12 19:19:08


She can either come or not come, but the dog is not invited.

If she cannot be apart from the dog then the two of them can share a pissy shitty Christmas in their own house.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 29-Nov-12 19:43:00

Well that's settled then. You are spared two nightmare guests.

ChasedByBees Thu 29-Nov-12 19:59:08

Definitely back up your OH on this one, it sounds like they would potentially ruin your Christmas.

bochead Fri 30-Nov-12 00:19:36

She made a choice not to bathe her dog, not to give it toilet training, and not to keep it under reasonable control around the kids/your cat. There are always consequences to our choices.

Part of owning a dog involves training it. Once puppyhood is past you should be able to take it visiting without having to worry it'll pee all over your hosts house. If it's too old or ill then you stay home. Dog ownership comes with responsibilities.

(There's a period at the end of an old dog's life where you have to curtail overnight stays with relatives, treks over Ben Nevis etc in favour of letting your faithful friend enjoy it's last days in peace. My last dog lived till he was 18, so I get this part).

Your child's cat is frankly more important than her dog in this case. In taking on a new cat you have also taken on a duty of care to that animal.

How DARE she say "the cat's not there any more". That's not pushy, that's insanely self-entitled.

I adore my dog, but ownership is a serious responsibility. A well trained dog is a joy for most people, one like you describe is a revolting liability that'll ruin your Xmas.

Cleaning up dog pee & poop so that the smell doesn't linger takes AGES & is an unpleasant task. She's rude & obnoxious company, self-entitled, with no sense of personal responsibility - let her sort herself out this Xmas.

TeaDr1nker Fri 30-Nov-12 00:30:09

Your house, your rules.

My MIL doesn't like dogs so our dog stays in the car and I pop out on a regular basis, her house her rules.

If she won't pay kennels, could u afford to. Could the dog stay with a neighbour.

Do you have a garage, could u put a heater in there and put the dog in there, is that an option.

Or is there another family member who would have the dog?

I do not think YABU

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 30-Nov-12 03:18:01

Does your DH want her to come for Christmas at all, even without the dog? I wouldn't if I were him.

MmeLindor Fri 30-Nov-12 03:40:40

Tbh she sounds like she'd be a nightmare guest, and she'd leave your OH tense and unhappy over Xmas.

I'm not sure that you should be going out of your way to make her visit possible. You may feel sorry for her, but I feel more sorry for your OH.

Forget the dog for a moment. Think about how Xmas will be with and without her.

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